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AT&T Reverses Decision on Cellular FaceTime

Rival wireless providers didn't restrict the app's use


Apple iPhoneAT&T (NYSE:T) is changing its tune about Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) FaceTime video calling. The company says it will no longer restrict cellular use of the app that runs on iPads and iPhones to its high-end Mobile Share plans.

The roll-out of FaceTime service to users with tiered data plans will take between eight and ten weeks, the Los Angeles Times notes.

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Until recently, FaceTime only worked over WiFi connections. However, with the release of iOS 6, the app can now transmit video over cellular networks.

AT&T justified its earlier position, saying that it had limited use of the app because it could not forecast the amount of additional data traffic its cell network would experience as a result of the apps functionality. Consumer advocates heavily criticized the company’s stance and threatened to complain to the FCC.

While AT&T has abandoned its insistence on premium data service plans for FaceTime use, not all AT&T subscribers can use the app on cellular connections just yet.

Who can use FaceTime on AT&T’s network right now:

  • Subscribers with Mobile Shared data plans

Who Will be able to use FaceTime on AT&T’s network soon:

  • Subscribers with tiered data plans and 4G Apple devices — the iPhone 5 and the latest iPads
  • Hearing impaired subscribers who have special data-only plans

Who will not be able to use FaceTime on AT&T’s networks any time soon:

  • Subscribers with 3G devices
  • Original iPhone users with grandfathered unlimited data plans

FaceTime calling has not been subject to restrictions by Sprint (NYSE:S) or Verizon (NYSE:VZ).

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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